A “Functional Approach” to fitness?
A functional approach to fitness is training your muscles to work together and preparing them for better movement quality when at work, home, etc. For example, I don’t train clients to use their body solely to learn a set of random exercises – rather I train clients with targeted exercises specifically adjusted to them, in order to improve their overall performance in everyday life. I take into account your specific goals, lifestyle and interests to help create a functional approach to fitness with the aim of improving your quality of life.
I have personally had to adjust my own approach to fitness as I have grown older. When I discovered in my late thirties that I had scoliosis and this was contributing to shoulder and back pain. Once I turned 40, I discovered that I was prone to sciatica. Both my scoliosis and sciatica, have changed my fitness priorities towards a more functional approach. I have discovered that certain exercises are not doable for my body and other exercises are perfectly fine. I now exercise because I want to remain active and able to have a good quality of life, and not just because I want to look good in a bathing suit. Finding that I can safely deadlift up to 125 pounds with no issues. However elevated split squats are something that aggravates my body even when utilizing no extra weight. When I perform exercises that help to enhance my bodies functional performance, I minimize any symptoms from issues.
The same functional approach can also be utilized with yoga as well as personal training. I adjust yoga poses for my body, not the other way around. I always encourage my clients and students to do the same. Yoga in the east was not intended to be measured on what your body looks like, rather yoga in it’s purist form is meant to be an individual and unique journey that can be both spiritual and physical in nature. Too often with social media that meaning of yoga is lost. Many practicing yoga students get caught up with the notion that their body when practicing a pose should look the same as someone else’s. This comparison is unrealistic. What also compounds yoga expectations is that the various different modalities of yoga have variations in what is considered an ideal yoga pose form. For instance, I studied for many years astanga yoga. My yoga teacher training was in vinyasa flow. Vinyasa flow and astanga yoga have different back foot placement in a Warrior one pose. That is just one example of differences. Which yoga modality pose form is correct? The answer in my mind is always the one that works best for your body!
If we were all 100% average than everyone could do the same yoga pose or execute a body weight squat and look identical. However none of us are the same, therefore one size does not fit all in fitness! I am honestly not sure why any of us should be surprised with that fact. None of our lives are the same, so why should our bodies be the same?
If you decide to work with me on either personal training or yoga instruction, I will always do my best to find the most functional approach for your body.